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It does by its consequences but hardly so in terms of political theory. Its goal is not the organization of society. It isn't even identified as an ideology or philosophic current, I don't even know who its inspirational fathers are - the term was I think coined by Marx in his need to define his dialectics; it is an economical system part of liberal and libertarian ideologies, and which Adam Smith was calling "a natural system of liberty".

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:52:10 PM EST
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Adam Smith's notions of "natural systems" are, however, very much ideological and are extremely concerned with the (just) organisation of society. "Natural justice," in this context, is a term of art that denotes the system of justice in which the supposed impartial spectator can fully enter into the motives of the law and its execution.

Also, empirically speaking the default state of society seems to be some form of clan-based feudalism or clientism, where those family groups who control the repressive power of society also control the means of production. Capitalism - if it is to be distinguishable from feudalism at all - requires a separation of control over the means of production and control of the repressive apparatus of society. This requires some care to be given by the capitalist ideology to the structure of society. Otherwise, it is liable to lapse into plain, old feudalism (as the recent rise of mercenary militias like Blackwater can attest).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 07:08:50 PM EST
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We cannot speak of feudalism as an ideology however.

But the important point is that no one structured capitalism as a fullblown ideology. Of course the economical concepts result from the organization of society and produce their effects in the organization of society, you are making a huge mistake of category : the ideological basis of capitalism remains the Enlightenment, the liberal, and further the libertarianist ideologies.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 07:39:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the important point is that no one structured capitalism as a fullblown ideology.

That is not correct. Several versions of capitalism have indeed been codified (see e.g. The New Industrial State, Capitalism and Freedom, Principles of the Political Economy).

Even if it were correct, it would be a distinction without meaning. Nothing prevents an ideology from evolving over the course of several successive iterations. In fact, this has happened with essentially every ideology throughout history.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 10:48:01 PM EST
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